One of the most beneficial employee benefit plans is the EPF Scheme. It is also one of the most effective retirement funds in the market. It's a type of savings account in which both the employer and the employee contribute the same amount regularly. Contributions can only be made by registered employers and employees of registered employers. Employer registration in some cases is mandated by law and voluntary in other cases.
The EPF Act requires every business that engages over 20 people, including contract employees, to register. Once the EPF Act applies to an organisation, it becomes permanent. The scheme is mandatory for employees earning up to ₹15,000 per month.
Did You know?
In 2021-22 the Employees' Provident Fund Organization lowered the interest rate on EPF from 8.5% to 8.1%. It's the lowest rate in over four decades.
How Does EPF Work?
Both the employee and the company contribute to the Employees' Provident Fund. The contribution is equal to 12% of the basic wage, plus any dearness allowance paid if applicable.
EPF receives a portion of an employer's contribution, but not all of it. The fund receives roughly 3.67% of a company's 12% contribution. The Employees' Pension scheme receives the remaining 8.33 %.
Benefits of EPF
Investing in the Employees' Provident Fund has numerous advantages, such as:
- Capital appreciation: In the EPF India system, there is a fixed rate of interest. Furthermore, the EPF receives interest even when it is dormant.
- Corpus for emergencies: The EPF can operate as an emergency corpus because of particular premature withdrawal rules.
- Corpus for retirement: The primary motivation for people to contribute to the EPF is to build a retirement fund. The corpus provides investors with a sense of assurance.
- Tax saving scheme: Employees' Provident Funds are taxed under Section 80C of the Income Tax. An investment up to ₹1.5 lakhs is tax-deductible.
Eligibility Criteria for EPF
The EPF eligibility requirements are as follows:
- Any business with more than 20 employees needs to register with the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation of India.
- Companies with less than 20 employees can voluntarily join the Employees' Provident Fund.
- EPF benefits are available to all salaried employees
- All employees earning less than ₹15,000 must join the EPF.
- Employees earning more than ₹15,000 can choose whether to remain in the EPF plan or not.
Interest Rate on EPF & How It Is Calculated
According to EPFO guidelines, the EPF interest rate for 2020-21 is 8.5%.
Employees' Provident Fund contributions are made every month. The interest, on the other hand, is determined at the end of the year.
The employee receives an interest rate of 8.50%, which is divided monthly. As a result, the monthly interest rate is 8.50% /12 = 0.7083%
EPF Payment Online
Though both the employer and the employee contribute to the PF account, only the employer who is registered with the PF Act is allowed to make payments to the account. All businesses have paid their EPF electronically since September 2015. Employers can make online EPF payments through EPFO's website or an authorised bank's website (if the bank enables direct payment through their website) where the employer has a bank account and net banking.
Steps for EPF Payment Online
Following are the steps for EPF payment Online:-
1.Use your Electronic Challan cum Return (ECR) portal credentials to log in to EPFO's unified portal.
2. Check that the establishment's EPF details, such as the establishment ID, name, address, exemption status, and so on, are correct
3. Select 'ECR upload' from the 'Payment' drop-down menu.
4. Choose a 'Wage Month,' a 'Salary Disbursal Date,' and a contribution rate before uploading an ECR text file.
5. A screen will show with the message 'File Validation Successful' when the uploaded ECR file has been validated for predefined conditions. If the ECR file isn't validated, an error will appear. Correct the ECR text file for the requested format and re-upload until it is confirmed successfully.
6. The TRRN created for the submitted ECR file will be displayed on the same page. Select 'Verify' from the drop-down menu.
7.To generate an ECR summary sheet, click the 'Prepare Challan' option.
8. Now, enter the Admin/Inspection Fees and press the 'Generate Challan' button.
9. After validating the challan amount, click the 'Finalize' option.
10. To make a payment against a TRRN, click the 'pay' button.
11. Select 'online' as the payment mechanism, then select any of the banks from the drop-down menu before clicking 'proceed.'
12. This action will redirect you to your bank's internet banking login page, where you must log in and make a net-banking payment.
13. Payment/Transaction-id will be produced, and an e-Receipt for transaction confirmation will be populated upon successful payment.
14. The transaction is updated on the EPFO portal and will be updated with the transaction.
15. EPFO will offer payment confirmation based on the TRRN number.
Important list of banks that accept EPF payments online
- State Bank of India
- Punjab National Bank
- Indian Bank
- Kotak Mahindra
- Axis Bank
- Bank of Baroda
If you've seen the EPF challan, you might be wondering what those fields mean and how they're supposed to be filled out.
The following are the fields in EPF Challan:
- Establishment code no- This is the code given to the business to identify it. It is specific to each business and is usually included in the EPF account number.
- Paid by cheque/cash- This is self-evident, as it refers to the employer's preferred method of payment.
- Dues for the month of- The employer can specify the month or months for which they are making payments on behalf of both the employer and the employee in this section.
- a Total number of subscribers and total wages due:- This refers to the total number of people who have enrolled in the EPF system.
- Account 1- Deposits made under A/c 1 are for EPF contributions, which include both employer and employee contributions.
- Account 10- Contributions to pension funds are discussed in this section.
- Account 21- This section covers the Employee Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI) and the contributions made to it.
Particulars in the EPF Challan
The particulars table lists all of the different quantities in front of the proper header.
- Employers' share of contribution: This is the total amount paid by the employer over the chosen period.
- Employees' share of contribution: This is the total amount that the employee has contributed to the EPF over the selected period.
- Admin charges: These are the fees associated with the management of the EPF.
- Insp charges: Inspection fees are assessed against contributions made to the Employee Deposit Linked Insurance plan.
- Penal damages: Penal damages are any penalties that the employer may be required to pay as a result of late EPF contribution remittance.
- Misc payments: This will detail any miscellaneous payments made by the employer for the contributions made within the stated period.
The employer fills in the entire amount that has to be transferred, the name of the establishment, and its address in the section below the particulars. It also includes spaces for the depositor to sign the challan and information about the check or demand draft that will be used to make the payment. The final piece of information is located on the bottom right-hand side of the challan and is used by the bank to record their payment acknowledgement.
Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) is a social program established to ensure that employees have a brighter future. It is a legislative benefit provided to employees after they retire or leave the military. Employees' dependents will be eligible for benefits if they die while on the job. The Employees' Provident Fund Scheme (EPF Scheme) requires both employers and employees to contribute to the fund. However, the employer makes the payment for the contribution of both the shares. Hence to make EPF payment, it is very important to know the EPF challan. We hope that this Article clarified your concepts regarding EPF Challan, the step-by-step procedure to fill such challan, and the details to mention in it.
Follow Khatabook for the latest updates, news blogs, and articles related to micro, small and medium businesses (MSMEs), business tips, income tax, GST, salary, and accounting.